Updated: March 5, 2020 12:53:07 pm
AMID STRONG protest by Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal, the Haryana Assembly Wednesday passed a Bill to bifurcate 20 per cent seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC) in higher educational institutions of the state.
Among Dalits, the government has identified a new category called ‘deprived Scheduled Castes’, comprising 36 castes including Valmiki, Bazigar, Sansi, Deha, Dhanak and Sapera.
The other category has been identified as ‘Scheduled Castes after sub-classification of reservation for SCs’. The provision of reservation will be applicable for graduation and post-graduation courses.
“Fifty per cent of the 20 per cent seats reserved for SCs for administration in any government educational institution shall be set aside for candidates belonging to deprived Scheduled Castes,” said the Haryana Scheduled Castes (reservation in administration in government educational institutions) Bill, 2020. “Where a seat set aside for a candidate from deprived Scheduled Castes in government educational institutions is not filled up in any academic year due to non-availability of such a candidate possessing the requisite qualifications, the same shall be made available to Scheduled Castes candidates,” added the Bill.
‘Attempt to divide SCs as Jats, non-Jats’
Bhukkal, a former education minister, called the move “an attempt to divide SCs just on the lines of Jats and non-Jats”. She also asked, “When the matter is pending in Supreme Court, how can the government bring Bill on it?”
The Congress leader said that if the government is really serious for their (deprived SCs) welfare, it may offer a special package or scholarship to improve their educational status.
Move based on demand by section of SCs: Khattar
However, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the move was initiated following a demand by a section of SCs. Haryana provides 20 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes in admission in educational institutions as well as services. “Analysis of employee data reveals that the total representation of a section — ‘Deprived Scheduled Castes’ — is only 4.7 per cent, 4.14 per cent and 6.27 per cent in Group A, Group B and Group C services respectively, even though their population is about 11 per cent of that of the state. The population of other Scheduled Castes in Haryana is also about 11 per cent, but with respect to representation in government services, their share is 11 per cent, 11.31 per cent and 11.8 per cent in Group A, B and C respectively,” said Khattar in his statement to the Assembly.
According to the government, the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) survey 2011 had also revealed the reason for poor representation of deprived Scheduled Castes in government services. The minimum prescribed educational qualification for majority of the posts of Group A, B and C services in the state is graduation. SECC data shows that in terms of education, only 3.53 per cent population of the Deprived Scheduled Castes are graduates, 3.75 per cent of them are senior secondary level and 6.63 per cent are matric/secondary level. Moreover, 46.75 per cent of them are illiterate.
“The social and educational backwardness of this section of Scheduled Castes make them a distinct class of citizens, who are deprived the constitutional right to equality of opportunity in comparison to the general Scheduled Caste population. The deprived Scheduled Castes are not able to compete with other Scheduled Castes of the state when it comes to government jobs. Therefore, there is a need to provide proportionate distribution of benefits of reservation among various sections of society and to uplift the deprived Scheduled Castes, who failed to take due benefit of the reservation system alongwith all other SC,” he said.
“With a view to ensure that the creamy layer is excluded from benefit of reservation, the state government will conduct periodic reviews to verify the backwardness of each of the deprived castes and include or exclude such castes as may qualify the creamy layer criteria,” said Khattar.
The CM’s statement mentions that Article 15 (5) of the Constitution authorises the state government to make special provisions, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes for their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions.
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